The Phoenix – The Fastest Diesel Truck

[ 0 ] August 12, 2004 |


The fastest diesel vehicle on land setting a record of 272+ mph at the Bonneville Speed Trials 2003

This incredible record holding diesel truck started out life as a 1943 International K-7 truck and after being saved from a salvage yard by Carl Heap & R.B. Slagle, back in 1987. These long time pals (much like Jim & I) saw great big plans for this old and tired quarry truck and began the journey to create “The Phoenix”.

With a whole lot of work, and the addition of a Detroit Diesel 16V it ran 158 mph in the Modified Diesel truck class on the Bonneville salt flats, breaking it’s first USFRA record at just 188.340 MPH.

As these friends kept working to improve and break their own records they modified and streamlined this 43 International and in 1992 and now running in the unlimited Diesel Truck Class, The Phoenix and it’s driver R.B. Slagle, shattered their old record with a mind blowing 212.478 mph. Not bad for a 49 year old truck.

Sadly R.B. Slagle died in 1998, but Carl Heap continued on his quest for the fastest diesel truck ever. In 2001 Carl took the record again at 254, then just two days later again at 263.487

In 2003 the truck was again revised with a wing in front and a more streamlined body and even though he broke the record again with a record of 272.685 mph, with a pass well over 280 mph, but he was plagued with mechanical problems which kept him from breaking into the 300 mph club.

Unfortunately due to Carl’s failing health and untimely death in 2003, he was unable to run the truck again and launch himself and The Phoenix” into the 300 mph club. Carl’s previous runs did earn “The Phoenix” the title of the world’s fastest diesel and will forever serve as a lasting tribute to the two friends and their dream of building the worlds fastest diesel truck.

Some more stats on the Phoenix:

Detroit Diesel – 16v 1472ci
4 Turbo Chargers
2 Super Chargers
Est Hp: 5000+
Front Tires: Boeing 707 39×13 Wheels
Rear Tires: Boeing 747 49×17 Wheels

Check out the Official Website

Read More by Ugo Fadini

Tags: Performance

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Category: Features